I just returned from a short trip to Florida, where my husband and I spent some down time with family. We enjoyed a spring training game, a couple of meals out, swimming for me, golfing for my husband and a movie - all within two days - plus I ran 26+ miles in that time. Not sure that qualifies as down time, but it felt like vacation and I came to realize just how much I needed it.

I've been a runner for many years. However, I hadn't attempted to run 40-50 miles per week until this winter. Now I think of a 30 mile week as light - a week when I failed to meet my minimum mileage for one reason or another.

And there are lots of reasons.

Working, of course, 9-10+ hours each day.
Keeping up with my friends and their new babies!
Recently helping my family overcome some challenging times.
Keeping the house clean.
Getting groceries and making dinners.
Doing the laundry (a never ending task for any active person).
Going to the usual doctor appointments.
Mixing in things like writing blogs and raising money for Home Base Program.

Not much on that list is unique to me, but it makes me a particularly tired girl when you add in the fact that I'm a newlywed who wants more *awake* time with my husband and I'm running 40-50 miles/week, most of which I have to fit in on the weekends or before work on the weekdays.

I'll be the first to tell you that I'm happy and lucky to have such a full life. When one of my goals, however, is to qualify for the Boston Marathon, I wonder if I'm  focused enough on my running to do it. This weekend helped me realize that I may just be ready after all.

I went into the short vacation disappointed in my training because I either cut out or cut short a few runs. I was tying up loose ends around the house rather than out on the pavement. The break it turns out did a body good.

On Saturday I ran 9 miles at 7:39 pace. That's just slightly lower than my 10K pace and I felt like I could have kept it up for miles more. It felt effortless.

On Sunday I ran 17 miles at 8:21 pace. That's faster than my goal marathon pace and it actually felt easy! I intentionally kept the pace in the 8:30s to start, expecting to be laboring by the end, but I sped up instead. I finished it feeling tired, but completely confident in my running abilities.

These runs could not have come at a better time. Not only am I just 40 days away from my marathon, at a point in time when I need all the confidence I can get to achieve a Boston qualifying time, but they proved to me that all my hard work this winter has paid off. Even though I missed a few miles of running last week, my body knew what it needed to do, and it even surprised me.

I know I have done what I need to do to achieve Boston qualifying time on May 2. I'm thankful that this weekend's mini break from the usual routine helped me realize that. My training is by no means finished, but I'm ready and so excited! Now to start a new week of work tomorrow... right after I wake up bright and early to hit the pavement.
 
 
Yesterday's Run: 7 miles around hills of Brookline and Chestnut Hill ~8:30 pace

Five days left in 2009. I've been very lucky to have had an amazing and wonderful year. It will be nearly impossible to top, but I look forward to seeing what 2010 brings. In preparation for the New Year I'm counting down some running goals and resolutions of mine, starting with #5.

Running Resolution #5: Run more miles (1,500+)

About this time last year, my then fiance and I placed a bet with two other friends. $10 to anyone who fulfilled their New Year's resolution. Of course we weren't after the $10... just the bragging rights and an excuse to make our little competition an annual event.

Each of our four resolutions for 2009:

* Complete two marathons (after never running one)
* Run at least 400 miles (up from 250)
* Attend at least one Bikram yoga class per week (big commitment for a traveler)
* Eat the equivalent of 100 loaves of bread (ok, so this is the antiresolution)

Soon we'll be celebrating the completion of every resolution! I ran my first two marathons; our friend is finishing up her 400 miles this week; another friend made it to 75 yoga classes, and my now husband ate just about that much bread - fuel for his almost daily basketball games. Now I'm left wondering what my resolution should be for 2010.

To help me decide, I'm going through some goals I'd hope to achieve in any case, starting with mileage. I'd like to run at least 1,500 miles in 2010.

I ran probably about 1,200 miles in 2009. Lost track because I didn't log every run, but I was running around 25 miles most weeks - a few in the 30s, some recovery weeks in the teens and two weeks off for our honeymoon. Over the past several months I've upped my routine to four or five days of running per week and I've made most runs longer. Soon I'll be running about 35 miles per week regularly, rather than sporadically, and peaking out in the 40s for my marathon training.

So I should technically be able to run 1,500 miles in 2010. Doing it of course is another matter.

Have any running goals or resolutions for 2010?